UNI fell short in its comeback effort in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Panthers started slow and fell behind 32 to 20 at the half to Big Ten champion Purdue in the West Regional in Portland, Oregon.
The 12th seeded Panthers chipped away at the lead in the second half and had it down to two in the final seconds — but the fifth seeded Boilermakers hit their free throws to hold off the upset bid 61-56. UNI hit seven of 22 shots from three-point range, and struggled from the field throughout the game finishing 20-of-53 for 37.7 %.
Jordan Eglseder led UNI with 13 points, Kwadzo Ahelegbe had 11 and Ali Farokhmanesh had 10. UNI finishes the season at 23-11, after starting out 8-6 and then going on an 11-game win streak that saw them win their first ever regular season Missouri Valley Conference championship and the MVC postseason tournament championship.
The Panthers expect to be a contender in the conference again next season as Travis Brown is the only senior starter who is graduating.